Round 3, Pick 79: Malcolm Koonce, EDGE
Malcolm Koonce out of Buffalo would be the Raider’s third pick. Koonce was selected to provide some speed off of the edge and help out with the porous pass rush the defense has put on the field in years past.
Both Ronnie Perkins out of Oklahoma and Patrick Jones out of Pittsburgh were more highly touted and still on the board, however, Perkins was out all year on IR and Jones didn’t record a single sack in 9 games.
Koonce has a similar playstyle to Yannick Yganokue; a speed rusher with bend, speed, and length but a need to add strength and get better against the run. This is what the Raiders needed more of and so the pick made sense from a need perspective.
Unfortunately, Koonce only appeared in five games, though he did record 2.0 sacks in the first two games he appeared in showing some flashes in the pass-rush department. Keep in mind that he was a healthy scratch during the first 12 weeks of the season, so it wasn’t injuries keeping him off the field.
You definitely want to see more playing time out of a third-round pick with upside like Koonce has. I guess you could blame the coaching staff, but we haven’t really seen enough of him to know whether him not seeing the field much was some big mistake.
So while performing pretty well in the sparse opportunities he got, the pick itself doesn’t seem great at least after a season. We could look back and say he was a steal though, of course, in the future.
- Performance Grade: C+
- Pick Grade: C